Gorilla Dawn by Gill Lewis

Gorilla Dawn

Written by Gill Lewis

9+ readers   11+ readers   UKLA 2017   eBooks   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award Gill Lewis writes outstanding animal stories, and Gorilla Dawn is very good indeed. The setting is the forests of the Congo, home to the great lowland gorilla but also to rebel soldiers, who hide out there after attacks on local villages. Imara is just a child, but regarded as a talisman by the Black Mambas, one of the rebel groups. Their leader believes her to be a Spirit Child with magical powers to protect his men. It’s a frightening life and Imara has withdrawn into herself for protection. The arrival in camp of a baby gorilla taken to be sold into captivity breaks down her defences and she determines to save it. Imara’s story is terrible and Lewis chooses to reveal it in full only when Imara is safe. She allows us to feel hope for the gorillas too while explaining to her readers all the dangers they face. Above all, this story tells children that we all share the world, that if we lose our love of it, we lose our souls. A thrilling story which will sweep readers along, this is one of the best books of the year. ~ Andrea Reece

A note from Gill Lewis: “The world is at our fingertips…or so it seems. We use our mobile phones and computers to connect with people far across the globe. And yet, they also connect our fate to that of the gorilla. The electronic devices we use every day contain rare minerals, many of which are sourced within the forests of the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, home of the eastern lowland gorilla. I wanted to tell a story, through the eyes of two children who have been swept into the conflict, that questions our responsibility as consumers of electronic goods; responsibility to insist on fair trade and conflict free minerals, and to actively protect our natural world.”


Gorilla Dawn by Gill Lewis

The thrilling, heartbreaking, and inspirational new story from award-winning storyteller and wildlife expert Gill Lewis. Deep in the heart of the African jungle, a baby gorilla is captured by a group of rebel soldiers. Imara and Bobo are two children also imprisoned in the rebels' camp. When they learn that the gorilla is destined to be sold into captivity, they swear to return it to the wild before it's too late. But the consequences of getting caught are too terrible to think about. Will the bond between the gorilla and the children give them the courage they need to escape?


'Lewis's confident, economical prose takes the reader up, up and away.' The Times

'Gill Lewis has established herself as the principal contemporary writer of animal stories, combining a vet's knowledge of her subject with a novelist's capacity for character and plot.' Telegraph

'Powerful and thought-provoking from the start, I read it straight through to the end.' Kerra Dagley, ReadingZone

About the Author

Gill Lewis

Before she could walk, Gill Lewis was discovered force-feeding bread to a sick hedgehog under the rose bushes. Now her stories reflect her passion for wild animals in wild places. She draws inspiration from many of the people she has had the fortune to meet during her work as a vet, both at home and abroad.

Gill Lewis has a masters degree in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University and won the 2009 course prize for most promising writer. Her first novel was snapped up for publication within hours of being offered to publishers.

She lives in Somerset with her young family and a motley crew of pets. She writes from a shed in the garden, in the company of spiders.

Gill’s first novel, Sky Hawk, has been nominated for a total of fifteen book awards including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Red House Children’s Book Award, and the CILIP Carnegie Medal. Her second novel, White Dolphin, was shortlisted for the Centurion Book Award (Bath) and the Kernow Youth Book Award.

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Book Info


336 pages


Gill Lewis
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Oxford University Press

Publication date

7th April 2016




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